As certain as I was that I wanted to be a mom, I was not so certain about what it would actually be like to have a kid. I was anxious about it. Having kid(s) was one of those things that I put in the distant, it’ll-happen-one-day future but did not crave imminently. I also wasn’t terribly interested in other people’s kids. When we’d hang out with friends who had little humans running around I enjoyed watching them, hearing about my friends’ experiences with them – but that’s about it. I didn’t care to play with them though my wife – the one who was not certain she would have a kid when we met – was always quick to jump into the game.
And when it came to imagining having a kid, I was loathe to think too hard about all the activities that would consume my life but seemed utterly mundane and uninteresting to me. Someone tried to tell me how great my life was about to become with a kid by describing all the little league activities and other sporting events — needless to say it had the opposite effect.
So this morning as we were playing with Baby O – shuttling him between feeding, burping, pooping, playing, reading and napping – I had a momentary flashback to the days before he was born when i imagined what having a kid would be like. I thought about how I hoped my life wouldn’t change entirely, mourned in advance the loss of my morning routine with coffee in bed, and i braced myself for the things i’d have to do that were not so fun in service of a little person i had faith i’d love enough to make the sacrifice worth it. This morning, as I coo’d over Baby O on his activity mat I realized this was exactly the morning activity that I mildly dreaded before I was a mom – but it wasn’t terrible in reality. In fact, it was wonderful and the only thing I wanted to be doing in that moment.
Big no-surprise – having a baby is not what I’d expected. Far from being different from all the other moms, turns out I’m just like them but the experience is far different from what I expected.